Do Tour players need to be athletes?

The Scoop

James Savage and Mark Townsend have wildly differing opinions in this week's Alternate Shot

It’s what we’ve come to expect; a truck load of twenty somethings waltzing off with the trophy pretty much every week. So what do we think when a man with a mullet and a bulging wasitline turns them all over on the PGA Tour?

Our two writers have very different opinions…

Yes, says James Savage

Portly Pat won his third PGA Tour event this weekend and afterwards vowed to never work out.

This was met with widespread approval on social media.

“Good on him”, “Never change Pat,” they said.

But should overweight players in their 40s really be winning tour events? Is this good for the game?

I like Perez – he seems like a decent bloke and is undoubtedly a fantastic golfer.

But as horrible as it sounds, I think it’s better for the game if ‘athletes’ win.

Hear me out. When Tiger Woods was in his pomp golf was in the best shape (no pun intended) it has ever been.

Kids wanted to put a Nike hat on and head to the range. He was a role model. He was the ultimate athlete. Everyone wanted to be Tiger.

Other than Mark, no-one really wants to be Pat Perez – he’s not inspiring youngsters to take up the sport.

Think about Anthony Joshua in boxing – he is inspiring people to take up boxing. He is a role model. He is the ultimate athlete.

Portly Pat really isn’t. 

No, says Mark Townsend

Kiradech Aphibarnrat

To those of us carrying a bit of timber the professional world of core strength, lightning clubhead speeds and early-to-bed routines couldn’t seem further away.

Even the prospect of a slim-fit trouser didn’t seem possible in the 90s.

Yet here we are with the winners’ list getting ever younger and the midriffs getting ever smaller.

So, thank you Pat Perez who, at 41 and 190 lbs (and the rest), won in Malaysia at the weekend. We nearly had a win double with Kiradech Aphibarnrat in Italy for the big lads.

Perez did it with a winning score of 24 under. Last season he was outside the top 100 in driving distance but 4th for Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green.

It was good enough to give him his debut at the Tour Championship.

At East Lake he said: “It’s frustrating because I see these guys, perfect builds, they’re tall and they’re skinny and they’ve got all this strength, and then there’s me who kind of waddles around. I don’t like working out, I like to sit, kind of do nothing.”

Now he’s a winner he plans to stick to his winning ways.

“I’m not going to change anything. I’m still not going to work out. I’ll still have a bad diet and I’m going to enjoy myself.”

Last season Perez, who also underwent shoulder surgery in 2016, was one of five players in their 40s to win, those under 25 racked up a record-setting 18 victories.

So when you next look in the mirror and see your belly drooping sadly over your belt, your hair in even bigger trouble and you’re nursing a stinking hangover think of old Pat and get grinding out on the course.


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